Gian Arturo Ferrari
Libro (Book)
Bollati Boringhieri, an essay, 2014, 216 pages

Foreign Rights:

“Ferrari’s realism is total. He makes us understand the ambiguous and protean nature of the book and, at the same time, its weakness as a product.” l’Espresso

“In a time of great dilemmas about the future of the physical book, Ferrari makes a very interesting consideration about digital books.” Il Foglio

“Ferrari impudently combines the book as the place of the soul, a wealth of knowledge… with that simple and, at the same time, complex object made of paper… The blend he suggests is not that obvious and the way he sheds on this issue is surprising and striking.” Il Sole 24 Ore

“What if Ferrari were Borges’ Man of the book, who found and read in a certain universe’s shelf the total book?” TuttoLibri

“There is nothing more (badly) discussed and (pre)judged than the world of the book. Ferrari teaches to be wary of the apocalyptics and the optimists, the nostalgic and the excited ones, the categories of Good and Evil applied to the past, the present and the future of publishing.” Corriere della Sera

“A book full of surprises.” Corriere della Sera

“That of the book essentially is a ‘long goodbye’, which should not be received as a tragedy. The book in its traditional form is doomed to decline. There will be a ‘future of the book’, he says but ‘many future’ for ‘many books’.” La Repubblica

From a protagonist on the scene of Italian and international publishing comes a sharp, profound and brilliant reflection on the world of books, a veritable history of the book and its prospects. “It isn’t an invention like the steam engine or the telephone, something that wasn’t there before and suddenly came into being… It’s rather a mosaic composed over time, where every new tile not only adds something, but changes the design of the whole, the overall image. Beginning with the first inescapable tile, which is writing.”
In the course of the history, Ferrari points out three turning points that produced the manuscript book, the printed book and the digital book. “We owe much to the book. The intellectual life of man had in the book its most versatile tool together with its most glorious emblem. The emotional life, inside all human beings, has found in the book that comprehension, conversation and intimate response to itself that others have not always been able to offer. A similar recognition, which verges on gratitude, still does not permit us to persist in the illusion, nor does it allow us and the book to wallow in nebulous rhetoric. On the contrary, we can use the book to do what it has always been best suited to do. That is, investigate, research, discern and, ultimately, understand and know. It serves to preserve and save. This, in fact, has always been its task, its fortune, its glory… The book is an exchange of the best we have and give. It is a gift.”

Gian Arturo Ferrari

Gian Arturo Ferrari after graduating in Classical Literature at Pavia University, led a double life for a little while. On one hand the life of the university professor, teaching History of scientific thinking from 1977 at Pavia University. On the other hand he began working in publishing, first with Edgardo Macorini at Mondadori, then for a decade with Paolo Boringhieri, at the homonymous publishing house. He then became non-fiction editor at Mondadori in 1984 and head of Rizzoli Libri in 1986. He went back to Mondadori in 1988 and in 1989 he resigned from University, choosing publishing as his only life. In the early 90s he’s been head of Libri Mondadori and from 1997 to 2009 he’s been general manager of Libri Mondadori division, including Einaudi, Electa, Sperling&Kupfer, Edumond and later on Piemme, besides Mondadori. From 2010 to 2014 he was head of Centro per il libro e la lettura (Center for the Book and Reading of the Ministry of Culture). In 2011 he created and curated the exhibition 1861-2011 L’Italia dei libri – La storia di un Paese fra le pagine, for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. From 2015 to 2018 he has been the vice-president of Mondadori Libri. He is a regular contributor and a columnist for the Corriere della Sera and president of Collegio Ghislieri Foundation. In 2014 he published Libro with Bollati Boringhieri. Ragazzo italiano (2020) is his first novel.


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